I usually build MDF cabinets and paint them with Sherwin Williams warm white gloss lacquer. I need to build an all-wood set and paint it white. I am going to use birch doors and finished ends. What would be a good paint-grade material to use for the bottom, shelves and finished ends? Should I try another paint also?
From contributor M:
I'm not completely sure of whether you are looking for a solid wood product. If you are, then poplar or soft maple would be good choices for paint-grade species. If, on the other hand you are looking for ply, then I'd suggest birch, "furniture" grade ought to do the trick.
There are three approaches I know that work when painting solid wood panel doors.
1) Pre-paint the panel edges prior to assembly. This is time consuming and may be difficult depending on the type of final finish.
2) Use tooling that cuts a rounded or eased edge that will allow sprayed finish to more easily penetrate the panel groove. Use well dried material and unless you are in an unusual environment, most of the door movement will be toward expansion so at least the unpainted edge won't be noticeable. (illustration below)
3) Educate your customer. They must understand that solid wood will move.
I believe you can achieve the same end result using solid wood frames and MDF panels. The panels are not prone to shrinkage/expansion and take paint exceptionally well.
If you do use solid wood doors, do like everyone else has said and educate the customer on movement and the seam between the panel and frame. I pre-finish my panels and then build the doors and finish the frames and the joint left between the panel and frame accent the panel. I think and all my customers have been happy with the result.